Part II. An American on The Road: 1959 – 1960

Vince Taylor had to find a new backer and contacted Tom Littlewood, who became the new manager of the 2i’s Coffee Bar. Taylor first was backed by the former Terry Dene’s sidemen, bass player Brian Gregg and drummer Clem Cattini, both freshly returned from Sweden. They were often accompanied at The 2i’s by pianists Mike O'Neill or Miki Dallon. But soon after, Gregg and Cattini accepted Larry Parnes’ invitation to become the core of The New Beat Boys, backing his singers on package tours such as “The Big Beat Show” from august 1959. They actually were brought in as replacement for Makins and Woodman who had just been elbowed from the band after having missed some rehearsals.

Joe Moretti recalls about that time
“I went back to the 2 I's a couple of times… and on the last occasion the manager of the I's asked if I would form a band. He said he could get me plenty of gigs and the money was good. He was also booking Vince's band at the time. So, I ask him what kind of money are we talking and he pulls out this big book of accounts. Fifty, sixty, eighty pounds a night. So, straight away I went to Vince and asked what the guy was paying Him." Thirty pounds a night " He said. I told him the story and that was END of story for me & the 2 I's.”

Then Vince Taylor went out on a package tour, the “Big Beat Dance Of '59”, from August 21st to September 26th 1959, with Chas McDevitt & Shirley Douglas, both acts backed by Leroy Powell & the Beatniks featuring future Gladiators Tommy Brown on drums. They were augmented by Ed Warburton on trombone and Syd Archer on sax to accompany Taylor, who eventually would record a song composed by Chas McDevitt 'Move Over Tiger', for Palette Records, the following year. After that, Vince did a deal with Tom Littlewood, who put him out again on the road this once with Keith Kelly and all-purpose backing band held together by Bobby Woodman, whom he had met at The Pad Club, Berwick Street, Soho, while drumming with the Elisabethan Jazz Band, in early 1959.

Late September 1959, Woodman teamed up again with Makins and a Lancastrian guitarist called Kenny Fillingham to become the core of a trio backing Vince Taylor for a 3-week tour of Wales and Brighton. They met Fillingham during their brief stint with Rory Blackwell & the Blackjacks at the Strava Ballroom in Islington, London. The other Blackjack, recently recruited, was his mate Clive Powell, formerly with the Dominoes from Wigan. Makins and Woodman persuaded the other pair to let them bleach their hair. Although while Fillingham went back to the fold, Powell stayed in London where he eventually would be spotted by Lionel Bart and then Larry Parnes, the pop svengali, who’d renamed him Georgie Fame.

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